Psalm 30:7–8

by Glenn on August 20, 2014

Today’s reading included Psalm 130. Verses 7–8 say,

“O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.”

It was that last line that caught me: “He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” It’s easy to see from a 21st century vantage point how the Hebrew Scriptures are predictive of what Jesus will do when he arrives on the scene.

Abraham is about to sacrifice his son, and YHWH stops him, providing another sacrifice. Now we understand that God has provided a sacrifice for us. He did not withhold His Son.

There’s the scene in the desert where Moses lifts up a bronze snake on a staff and everyone who looks at it is saved from poisonous snakes. In the Gospel of John, Jesus provides his own commentary on the prophetic nature of that event: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14–15)

There are those passages in Isaiah that foretell a “suffering servant.”

I can’t imagine what it was like for an Israelite to read the Psalms trying to understand God’s redemptive plan in advance. You read/sing/pray that God “himself will redeem.” Do you have any way to know that the God who has said he is one is also three? In that unity there is also community and one member of that community will come to earth and suffer a death that will counteract all the damage of the Fall.

The Jews knew a Messiah was coming. The Gospels tell us of some who recognized Jesus as that Messiah: Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, Simeon, Anna the prophetess, John the Baptist, and all the disciples of Jesus who believed.

I feel bad for those of Jesus’ day who either from ignorance could not or pride would not see the work that God wanted to do for them through Jesus. It is a blessing to live on this side of the cross and understand the larger story, to see how God’s intention to redeem would actually be accomplished.

Our extraordinary God creates a perfect world. We mess it up. He begins remaking the world through the sacrifice of Jesus, who the Revelation of John describes as “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8) Rather than, “This is what you people need to do to fix this problem you made,” it’s “Here’s what I am going to do to fix this problem that I didn’t create. In fact, before I created I had a plan for how I would recreate it.”

“He himself will redeem.” Thank you God that we do not have to imagine how you are going to do this. We simply rejoice that you have done this, for us.